Smoky Chicken Chilli

I made roast chicken for kiddo and I on Easter Sunday and, rather than stick with my well-trodden path with chicken leftovers, I wanted to switch it up. Predictably, I made stock with the carcass (that’ll become summer minestrone or the like down the line) but in a determined act to come up with something new, I made chicken chilli with the leftovers. Game. Changer.

Now, I’ve never had a chicken chilli before but was inspired having seeing one on Smitten Kitchen and didn’t fancy stew or pho, again. So, bearing in mind I’m working with what I got coz lockdown, this is my riff on it and, to be honest, it’s a new winner in our household.

You can play with how you serve it but we had it with brown rice and tortillas I turned into giant crisps in the oven. I had all the toppings on mine whereas the kid remains a purist on that front. Straight up, no extra nothings, thanks. Good to know some things don’t change. He wasn’t convinced at first, as he slowly dragged his chair towards the table he muttered a forewarning about probably not liking it before a single mouthful had gone anywhere near his face but in the end, he didn’t come up for air. I won.

Since we’re 1 adult and a half, this made a lot. The rest got portioned up and frozen for rotation in the coming weeks. I know my future self will thank me. This is a healthy hands off bargain my friends.


1 TBSP oil
2 Garlic cloves finely chopped
1 Onion finely diced
2 Sticks of celery finely diced
1 TSP Ground cumin
1/2 TSP Sweet smoked paprika
1/4 TSP Flaked chipotle (if you don’t have this just swap for dried chilli flakes or whatever ‘heat’ you have but go gently if kids are having this too)
400g Tinned tomatoes (I used chopped)
400g Vegetable stock
1 TBSP Tomato Paste
4 Chicken thighs or leftovers from a roast
400g tinned Red kidney beans drained (cartons from Sainsbury’s are my fave)
400g tinned Black beans same as above
Salt to taste

1. Add a splash of oil to a heavy bottomed pan over a medium heat then add the onion and garlic, cook until soft

2. Add the cumin, paprika, chipotle and cook for a couple of minutes then add the tomatoes and stock. Let gently cook over a very low heat for 1 hour

3. Add the chicken, bring to boil then put the lid on and immediately turn the heat down as low as it'll go, cook until the chicken is falling apart. I used left over roast chicken and let it cook for 3 hours and it was perfect. If you’re using thighs with bones in, pick these out before serving

4. Once the chicken in falling apart, stir in the black beans and kidney beans, cook on low for another 10 minutes. Check the seasoning, adjust if you need to and you’re done

Serve with avocado, yogurt or sour cream on top, chopped coriander and more chipotle flakes (which you will never regret investing in) and crisps if you’re feeling yourself